It is hard to believe that one year ago – this month – hubby and I visited our current area in Mexico while contemplating moving here for three years. Now, exactly a year later, here we are with 8 months of Mexican living behind us. We’ve survived and stayed cool in our first scorching Mexican summer (I have the electric bills to prove it); we’ve been here for our first major holiday (Christmas, made a little more exciting thanks to constant decoration battles with kittens – who are no longer small and kitten-cute so subsequent plant battles are not nearly as charming); and we’ve made a dent in our español language skills (some more than others, but I don’t like to brag). In some ways I think our family has just now started to ease into a living routine in our Mexican home. We are no longer “adjusting”, so to speak. We’ve either figured it out or acknowledged that some things are just too different (aka: difficult) and we just need to deal with that. That “dealing” is sometimes harder than it sounds, especially when sometimes it seems like EVERYTHING we are adjusting to, dealing with – is all contradictions. Por ejemplo:
- people here are awesome, just not when they are behind the wheel of a moving vehicle;
- the food here is amazing, but surely that’s not the reason my jeans are getting tighter (no, no – it’s not all the extra carbs from the incredibly fresh tortillas we seem to be addicted to now… I’m sure the heat here is shrinking all my clothes….);
- we love LOVE our Mexican kitties and they bring so much joy to our lives, but I apparently forgot why you can’t have plants AND cats;
- Mexico might have some of the MOST beautiful places in the entire world to visit and see (see El Cielo Biosphere Reserve), but it is not safe to go there.
There’s more, but I think these four ejemplos get to my point rather well. I realize life is full of contradictions but I’ve never fully felt – or lived them – before until I came and lived in Mexico, as these contradictions have a huge impact on our way of life (or, at least, how we are dealing with our way of life here). I hope I’m not coming off as too whiny because I don’t mean to sound like I’m complaining – it’s just an interesting state of mind looking and dealing with the world around us through these contradictions. I believe my view through these contradictions will then dictate how happy I am (and, as a mother I do feel many times the added pressure of working at that happiness, because if I’m unhappy, then most likely that unhappiness will translate and affect the rest of my family – and I’m sure many fellow mothers will agree with that statement and added pressure).
I can focus on the bad driving conditions and how hard it is to constantly make healthy eating habits here and how I am CONSTANTLY vacuuming up dirt and half-chewed leaves from two cats who apparently are always starving no matter how much food we give them. And how we are so very excited to travel and see many of the beautiful sights while we are in Mexico – we just have to be careful where we go and how we get there. And after 8 months of living here I have yet to see a single worm in the house so I’m starting to seriously think hubby fabricated his worm-encounter altogether.
After living here for ocho meses I would describe Mexico as one big, crazy, colorful, loud and friendly contradiction in and of itself. Mexico will never change for me, no matter how hard I try and be a good driving example, or how much I change authentic Mex cuisine recipes to lighter, less caloric fare (by the way, don’t bother – it’s not worth it). Its security issues aren’t going to improve just for the sake of our family’s travel wishes; and scolding my unblinking kitties yet again for digging in my plants is also a wasted effort.
My favorite idiom about contradictions and how we perceive them is the “glass half empty or half full” phrase. Some days the glass is half full – some days half empty – it’s simply how you perceive it, right?
Well, living in Mexico for 8 months has taught me that on the “half empty days” – simply fill your glass with some tequila.